by Jim Ingraham
Review by Mel Jacob
Five Star Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781432825089
Date: 21 September 2011 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Sahara Dust follows Deputy Sheriff Randa Sorel as she investigates a series of murders and a conspiracy in south Florida. Someone wants her out of the way and uses the FBI and NCIS to stop the investigation. Randa and her lover Lee Fronzi are placed in danger as she fights to unravel the tangled skeins of what begins as the murder of a man on a lonely beach and then leads to possible terrorists and a theft of military technology.
Randa, born in Egypt, came with her English mother to the U.S. as a child. When a former NCIS agent is killed on a beach, Randa is assigned to investigate. Clues are sparse and include a mysterious man seen with the victim in a bar shortly before the murder and a business card found on him with the name of a retired arms dealer on the back.
When the FBI and NCIS try to stop the investigation, questions arise as to why. Sheriff Chubleigh, Randa's boss, rejects their high-handed attempts and keeps Randa on the case. Chubleigh is up for re-election, wants favorable publicity, and the arrest of the killer.
Lee is related to the arms dealer via his brother who married one of the man's daughters and is also rumored to be close friends with another daughter, Julia. Julia's live-in boyfriend, Claude Lazard, is deep in an arms conspiracy to sell something to Arabs and is seen with a mysterious woman. Then, an old colleague tells Randa about things he learned for Julia about Claude and his new pals.
An FBI agent close to retirement dogs Randa's footsteps and tries to elbow her out of the way. The man is a Native American and has a claw for his right hand severed in an earlier assignment. His persistence annoys Randa and she begins to question his motives. An exciting climax gives Chubleigh the publicity he wanted and Randa the solution to the murder.
Jim Ingraham has written five novels with two set in Maine and others in south Florida. He also has a number of short stories and mystery series featuring Duff Kerrigan. Ingraham, an ex-Marine and retired college instructor, he now concentrates on writing mysteries.